Miami police shoot unarmed man with his hands up

The man was assisting an autistic patient when he was shot by police

image via IRN

image via IRN

Police are investigating after an officer shot a therapist who was looking after an autistic man while he was lying in the street with his hands up.

Charles Kinsey, was trying to get his 27-year-old patient to return to a treatment facility in Miami, Florida, when police arrived in response to reports of a man threatening to shoot himself.

Video shot by a witness who saw the scene unfold shows the 47-year-old Mr Kinsey lying in the street on his back and with his hands in the air, while his patient plays with a toy truck and screams at him to "shut up".

Mr Kinsey can be heard shouting to the officers, who are armed with rifles: "All he has is a toy truck. I'm a behaviour therapist at a group home." 

He also urges his patient to comply with the officers: "Rinaldo, please be still, Rinaldo. Sit down Rinaldo, lay on your stomach."

Moments later, shots were fired and Mr Kinsey was hit in the leg.

"It was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite," he later told WSVN-TV, adding that he had called out there was no need for firearms.

North Miami Assistant Police Chief, Neal Cuevas, told The Miami Herald that police ordered Mr Kinsey and his patient to lie on the ground before an officer fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg. No weapon was found.

Mr Kinsey is a member of the Circle of Brotherhood collective who do good deeds for the community and the group have demanded answers from the police.

"We found out bits and pieces and we're still finding things out," said member Lyle Muhammad. "So we'd just like to go see him."

The group say the North Miami Police Department is the latest law enforcement agency that needs to be called to task for the shooting of an unarmed black man.

The ethnicity of the officer that fired the shots has yet to be released by police.

Mr Kinsey is recovering from his injuries in Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.

His wife told WSVN-TV: "Right now, I am just grateful that he is alive, and he is able to tell his story."